Tote That Barge, Lift That Bag

Why does everything in the garden have to weigh 40 pounds? Or, better yet, 50?

I was taking a break this afternoon when it dawned on me that we have moved 2 tons of top soil from the driveway to the back yard and the Way Back Garden in the past few days. TWO TONS! Do the math: 100 bags of top soil at 40 pounds per bag = 4,000 pounds, or TWO TONS.

And that's not all, either. 50 bags of cedar mulch @ 40 pounds per (so far...still have 100 to go). One ton done, two to go. 25 bags of mushroom compost @ 40 pounds per (so far...we'll need another 25 before all's said and done). One ton in all. And 20 bags of Black Kow composted manure @ 50 pounds per bag...those are outta my league, I'm afraid. All I can do at that weight is cheer Mr. T on. He has a large wagon; I have a smaller one...and together we have put several miles on both in our efforts to move 4.5 tons of soil and amendments. Makes my back ache just writing it all down.

Not really. I have been very careful with all this lifting...warming up cold muscles before working, being realistic about my limits, and taking adequate breaks. I have been diligent about stretching and flexibly exercises over the Winter, to help meet the challenge of Spring. I know I'm playing with fire, so to speak, and a "bad back attack" is the last thing I need or want. No time for that...

Today I started getting the roses ready for their growing season. While I had already pruned them about a month ago, I had held off on the Spring Feeding just in case we had more cold weather...which we did. But all the rose bushes are leafing out now, so it is time to take action and get them ready to put on a show this Summer.

First I rake back last year's mulch. Then each bush gets a big helping of Patricia's Special Rose Potion: 1/4 cup Epsom Salt (magnesium sulfate); 1/2 cup bone meal; and 3/4 cup 10-10-10 granular fertilizer. I scratch this mixture into the soil from the main cane out to the drip line. Then I add 1/3 bag of mushroom compost as a thick mulch in a circle around the base of each bush. Water in...and voilá! Happy, healthy bushes. I finished the 15 bushes in the back yard today, with "only" 45 more to go in the Rose Garden.

Then, I'll turn my attention to the Orchard, where I'll need to mulch all 20 trees with more mushroom compost (no fertilizer yet, as none of these babies have borne fruit). Then ditto with the blueberries, blackberries, and grapes...all of which get both fertilizer and compost.

Are we done yet?!

I am under a deadline of sorts, in that April 15 is looming large...that's like the starter's pistol for the Warm Season Garden. After the Average Last Day of Frost for the Piedmont, we can begin planting all those summer goodies: tomatoes, peppers, melons, corn, beans, okra, etc. So, I want to be done with the other gardening chores by then.

A lot of work? Heck yeah. But oh so good for body, mind, and spirit. That's why I do it...for the joy it brings!

Just remind me of all that joy in the morning, when I won't be able to get out of bed! I wonder if I have any Epsom salt left? Supposed to be a good soak for aching muscles, right?!

It's not all work-in-the-garden here at Casa 3917. I've also been writing about working in the garden...😃! Latest article published online, I Say Tomato! is located here: Enjoy!


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